Pep Guardiola vs. Javier Tebas beef intensifies as La Liga boss hits out over spending power

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Javier Tebas has hit back at Pep Guardiola after the Manchester City coach said the La Liga president needed to learn from the Premier League.

In a war of words regarding club spending, Guardiola said on Monday that "the Premier League is run better than La Liga" and stated that thanks to the investment of big clubs like City, "other clubs in other countries can keep doing things."

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Tebas, who has led criticism of City's spending power and accused "state-owned football clubs" of breaching UEFA's Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, wrote on Twitter: "I learn from the Premier League every day Pep, it would be good for someone to teach you a little bit of macroeconomics of football, of the effects of the state-owned clubs on wage inflation, of demographics of the diffusion of pay TV, of China....and of the CAS [Court of Arbitration for Sport] acquittal we will have some news."

City were temporarily banned from the Champions League for breaching FFP regulations in 2020 but the punishment was overturned by CAS upon appeal.

Tebas claimed justice had not been done while Guardiola insisted the club's funding was legitimate and questioned why football was the only business that would not welcome investment.

A lawyer by profession, Tebas has pushed for La Liga to compete with the Premier League on an economic level.

The economic gap between La Liga and the Premier League has narrowed since Tebas took the helm of the Spanish top-flight in 2013.

In October, Tebas said the Premier League remains the competition to beat and work still had to be done in foreign markets, such as China, despite La Liga growing financially under his seven-year stewardship.

Tebas has faced resistance from Spain's Football Federation (RFEF) and FIFA in his attempts to stage La Liga games in the United States.

La Liga signed a 15-year marketing agreement with Relevent Sports to promote the sport in North America and expand its brand.

Meanwhile, Tebas recently spoke about the consequences of wage inflation. He warned Guardiola's former club Barcelona that they needed to reduce their wage bill to register Lionel Messi next season and remain within the league-imposed salary cap.

Messi's contract expired and he has yet to sign a new deal to extend his 20-year relationship with Barca.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Barca had the largest cap in Spain's top flight in 2019-20 at €671 million. However, La Liga's new limit for the 2020-21 season was €382.7m.

Barca's wage bill has grown since the end of the season, with the signings of Eric Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Emerson Royal and Memphis Depay.